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Tamerlane: A Million Dead in Delhi

Tamerlane's Mongols have conquered the Delhi Sultanate, a large region of what is now northern India. Obviously the sultanate is under Muslim rule and Tamerlane himself is a Muslim but he believes that the Muslims have been too tolerant of the Hindu pagans. He requires the leadership each to personally kill a certain number of Hindus or be killed themselves. Many of these Muslims have never killed anything more than an insect. Dehli is sacked and when it is all over, as many as 1 million Hindus lay dead.

And, as if this wasn't enough, Tamerlane will have enough time to bury 4,000 Armenians alive on his way to Allepo between now and 1399. [1] [2]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Hmmm... How does one kill 1 million people? Getting rid of the bodies is a major problem. In Cambodia, under the Khmer Rouge, over a million Cambodians were hacked to death and their bodies placed on racks in the open. As the Nazis discovered... you should not bury that many bodies all at once. It is a problem that the Nazis studied. They began by murdering those Germans who were a long-term medical burden on the state. Then they required the Aryan elderly to justify their existence. Often their own adult children would not take them in. In the end, the Nazis realized that the most efficient solution was to burn the bodies. [3] [4] [5] [6]

On a personal note, I have met people who would have no problem whatsoever in allowing their own parents to die by refusing them even basic medical care and, in fact, one nurse implied to my family that we "accidentally" overdose my father with morphine. (FYI, my father was dying of cancer.) I was not there but my sister ripped that nurse a new a-hole.

China: An Unsettling Transition

Emperor Chu Yüan-chang, the founder of the Ming Dynasty has passed away. He overthrew the Mongols, restored China to self-rule, purged and reformed the bureaucracy, repaired and restored over 40 thousand reservoirs, and reforested China, setting the country on course to rebuild their merchant navy. All this in a little over twenty years. He will be succeeded by his grandson, Chu Yunwen. Unfortunately he won't last long. His uncles will rebel against him and he will die in a fire... but... some say Chu Yunwen escaped. We'll never know for sure. [7] [8] [9]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
At the library I ran across a controversial book that suggested that the Chinese of this time discovered America and sparked the Renaissance. The book was made into a TV special which I watched and couldn't believe that grown men and women were participating in this massive television scam. It began with several Chinese officials hiding the evidence of a voyage in 1421 by a fellow named Zheng He who was one of the supporters of the uncles mentioned above. Zheng He did make a voyage to India and the Middle East but beyond that I remain unconvinced.[10] [11] [12] [13] [14]

The Scots Discovered America?

"It has been Earl Henry's singular fate to enjoy an ever-expanding posthumous reputation which has very little to do with anything he achieved in his lifetime." -- William Thomson, The New History of Orkney

The question is... "Did Henry Sinclair, Earl of Orkney, discover America?" Normally the Earl would not earn a significant place in history except for the appearance in the 1500s of a log of an apparent voyage of "Prince Henry Sinclair" to Greenland and America in 1398. Historians are naturally skeptical.

Interest in this issue was renewed with the release of the novel "The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown and the movie starring Tom Hanks. In that novel, a puzzle leads the main characters to the Rosslyn Chapel where, supposedly, the Knights Templar had hidden certain clues as to the location of the Holy Grail. The chapel, itself was built by William Sinclair, the grandson of Henry Sinclair! The chapel sports carvings of what looks like Indian corn, years before Christopher Columbus brought corn back from the New World. [15] [16]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
It seems to be a compulsion to supplant Christopher Columbus as discoverer of the New World. There is a good case to be made for Lief Eriksson or at least some vikings of his time discovering America. They didn't stay. This whole idea of Prince Henry Sinclair discovering America seems like a hoax to sell books. I'm not buying it. The Da Vinci Code, as a novel, is entertaining. It is based on ancient texts, many of which I have read. I KNOW that one cannot make the suppositions that Dan Brown makes in his novel. But then again... he was just writing a novel of interesting speculation. But as criticism of Dan Brown's novel increased, so did his certainty that it was all true. It is an odd quirk of human beings that the fewer facts, the more people become certain.[17] [18]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1398, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Withington, John. Disaster! A History of Earthquakes, Floods, Plagues, and Other Catastrophes. Skyhorse Publications. 2010. ISBN=978-1602397491. (BOOK) quote="Tamburlaine himself said: 'Although I was desirous of sparing them I could not succeed, for it was the will of God that this calamity should fall upon the city.' Delhi would not recover for more than a century."
  2. Delhi Sultanate - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  3. Khmer Rouge: Crimes Against Humanity - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  4. Alex Shrugged notes: My remarks regarding the crimes of the Khmer Rouge include TV reports that I recall but cannot cite exactly.
  5. Shoah (film) - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update] (DOCUMENTARY)
  6. Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update] (DOCUMENTARY)
  7. Gernet, Jacques. (translated by Foster, J. R. and Hartman, Charles) A History of Chinese Civilization. Cambridge University Press. 1996. pp. 390-391. (BOOK)
  8. Hongwu Emperor (Chu Yüan-chang) - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  9. Jianwen Emperor (Chu Yunwen) - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  10. Treasure voyages - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  11. Zheng He - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  12. National Treasure (franchise) - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  13. 1421: The Year China Discovered the World - YouTube. Paladin Invision Production for Penguin Television in association with PBS. 2013 [uploaded to YouTube]. (VIDEO)
  14. Menzies, Gavin. 1421: The Year China Discovered the World. William Morrow. January 7, 2003. (BOOK)
  15. Mistress Isa. The Sinclair Voyage to America, 2003 [last update]
  16. Pohl, Frederick Julius. (NOT the SciFi writer) Prince Henry Sinclair: His Expedition to the New World in 1398. Nimbus Publications Ltd. 1997-Sep. ISBN=9781551091228. (BOOK)
  17. The Da Vinci Code - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  18. Rosslyn Chapel: In Popular Culture - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]

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